How Red Bull Got Us Hooked on Energy


Remember this? It was the highest ever skydive. Falling to earth from the
edge of space, Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner became the first human to break the sound
barrier. Eight million people watched it live on Youtube, a record at the time. It was shown on nearly 80 TV stations in 50
countries. “It just doesn’t get cooler than this” And the whole thing was sponsored and distributed by a drinks company, famous for its unconventional marketing. Red Bull behaves very differently to most
other companies; it runs sports teams, a TV channel, even a record label. It’s kind of like this massive extreme sports
marketing, youth festival, party company that happens to also sell a drink. That drink transformed the beverage industry
by creating not just a new brand, but a whole new category; the ‘energy drink’. And while Red Bull faces increasing pressure
from rivals, it still dominates the Energy Drink Market. A blend of caffeine, sugar, B vitamins and
taurine – it’s what people reach for when a coffee doesn’t seem enough. Why? Red Bull is a marketing company. It all comes down to their tagline “Red Bull gives you wings.” What does that mean? That means Red Bull
makes you a badass. Red Bull makes you brave. Red Bull makes you adventurous. Red Bull keeps
you up all night. Red Bull keeps you focused. Red Bull creates videos like these to define
its adventurous identity. That image helped them sell 6.7 billion cans in 2018. Success that has made its founders – and their
secretive family members – very rich. I can’t think of many companies that have
created as many billionaires as Red Bull has. Altogether you’ve got 12 billionaires from
this one company. The richest of those billionaires is the founder
Dietrich Mateschitz. Barely known outside his native Austria Mateschitz
is one of the most successful entrepreneurs of our age. He founded Red Bull following an eye-opening
business trip to Thailand. At the time he was selling cosmetics and decided to try a tonic the locals drank called Krating Daeng – which means ‘Red Bull’ in Thai. He claims it fixed his jet lag instantly. Two years later – while on business in Hong
Kong – Mateschitz discovered that a maker of such energy tonics made so much money it
was the top corporate taxpayer in Japan. It gave him an idea. He’d make his own version of an Asian tonic
and market it in the West. Mateschitz went into business with the founder
of Krating Daeng, tweaked the recipe, added bubbles and put the drink in a slick, slimline
can It was something nobody had ever heard of,
an energy drink was completely beyond the pale. It was like a brand new idea, a brand
new concept. Shortly after the drink’s launch in 1987,
Red Bull sponsored an event that would set the tone for the company ethos. Billed as the toughest relay in the world
– the Dolomitenmann combines mountain running, paragliding, mountain biking and kayaking. Red Bull made sure its name was associated
with sports and events on the extreme end of the spectrum Formula 1 racing Cliff Diving Base Jumping Crashed Ice The Air Race There’s also the more family-friendly – but
no less extraordinary – Flugtag and Soapbox events that attract huge crowds. That’s one of the really fascinating things
about Mateschitz, is he did kind of invent this guerrilla marketing, out-of-the box, multi, multi, multi-platform. He’s probably considered
a marketing genius. They’re extraordinarily creative. They’re
not just going out and slapping their name on an event that’s been around for a long
time and acting as a sponsor. They’re actually coming up with these incredibly elaborate
stunts. It is aligning itself with, I think a very
core part of youth culture. That hasn’t sat well with some. In 2011 the American Academy of Pediatrics
accused energy drink companies of marketing to children. the popularity of energy drinks has seen a
rise in hospital admissions and even deaths, mainly linked to issues with how caffeine
affects the heart. Despite it being an industry-wide issue, Red
Bull often bears the brunt as the brand’s popularity means it has become synonymous
with the ‘energy drink’. But that isn’t to say it hadn’t attracted
controversy before: Red Bull has been banned in several countries over concerns about its
ingredients – most studies into their safety have proved inconclusive. Despite the bad PR, Red Bull continued to
grow and has enjoyed decades of extreme profitability… much of that was down to how the drink was
priced. At about $2 a can, it’s easily the most
expensive energy drink on the shelf. Rather than deter consumers, the price set
the product apart. Rival brands started to piggyback Red Bull’s
success, selling larger cans to compete. In the US they’ve managed to catch up. Monster recently has overtaken Red Bull as
the market leader. If I were Red Bull, I’d be nervous. In a bid to keep the Coca-cola-backed Monster
at bay, Red Bull has lowered prices to grab back some market share. Creative guerilla marketing alone might not
be enough to keep the company at the top.

100 thoughts on “How Red Bull Got Us Hooked on Energy

  1. i bet redbull payed them to make this video rockstar is 20x better and doesnt look and taste like cold piss

  2. i remember when i was kid (12-16) i believed in ad and buying red bull when traveling and wanted to sleep due jetlag, i drinked a can and then didnt feel anything and going to sleep after 10-20 minutes… not working for me i guess…

  3. Honestly, the whole "energy drinks are unhealthy" is really misleading, one 250ml can of Redbull contains about the same amount of caffeine as a shot of espresso. But honestly stuff like G Fuel and other pre-workouts are so much better than energy drinks just due to how much sugar the drinks have.

  4. Wasn’t the son of the owner of Red Bull involved in a hit and run that killed a civilian? A known spoiled brat.

  5. my college has a contract with coke, so we have drink machines every few feet. nobody ever goes for soda anymore, bc we have energy drink machines with three kinds of monster, nos, full throttle, you name it. never redbull though haha

  6. i remember drinking red-bull when i was working extra hours and really needed something to keep me awake right before i drive back home.
    compared to the other energy drinks red-bull tastes the best, not too sweet and it doesn't make you thirsty afterwards like the likes of Monster drinks or the others.
    but the bad thing about these energy drinks in general is the amount of sugar they have in them, i remember hearing a single red-bull can has around 6-8 spoons of sugar inside it? that's insane… its like nearly half of the can…
    i do still drink red-bull occasionally on hot summer days, its safer than coke (coke is the worst) and more freshening than anything else other than water

  7. When i see someone who regularly drinks redbull or monster i immediately know 2 things: 1) theyre under the age of 26 2) they smoke meth as well as listen to five finger death punch

  8. Our species has been hooked on stimulants for a long time. Coffee, tea, qat, cocaine plant leaves, etc., now Red Bull and other energy drinks are the norm.

  9. Lol went to warehouse club, flat of 24 red bull was $41, flat of 24 red rain, knockoff brand, was beside it for $18. Same taste, less than 1/2 price, bought the knockoff

  10. I don’t get it. I only drink energy drinks when I work the graveyard shift, or i only get a couple hours of sleep on an important day. Some people literally drink it like water everyday with meals. Can’t imagine how unhealthy that it

  11. I love the taste of redbull but I never get the "energy" part from it. And if I drink too much then it makes me feel like crap soooo I don't know what to do haha

  12. Monster's overtaken red bull because it flat out tastes better in my opinion. Don't know if anyone agrees but still

  13. So much misinformation in the comments..

    Redbull, or any enerygy drinks, are just basically soft drinks with sliightly more caffeine. They're not really worse than any other soft drink in terms of health unless you drink like few cans a day. Only ingredients that actually work noticeably in energy drinks are caffeine and sugar, all other crap they put are either put in too small of amounts or are just not even confirmed to be really doing anything.
    People who say that coffee is bettter are wrong because coffee might actually have as much caffeine as in a big can of redbull (about 300ml)

  14. So it's was already a successful Thai company, there was already energy drinks out eg Lucazade, they just used the emerging marketing paradigm at the time.

  15. Many people are saying that energy drinks are toxic but there is not 1 research who confirms that… Drink responsible but that's with everything!?

  16. "it call comes to the one line: redbull gives you wings." well redbull is the shittiest energy drink i have ever tasted so monster ftw bitches!

  17. Amazing popularity. Never bought one or tasted it in my life. I knew it was a copy of the first energy drink I've tried, Lipovitan, which I think is the Japanese drink they refer here.

  18. Personally i like Monster much more. It has better taste than RB. But its stronger,my heart beating fast like Flash Gordon,its unhealthy.

  19. I like the taste, it taste like a candy but too expensive and it could harm your health if you drink alot

  20. I have a 250ml can on most days because I prefer black tea to coffee, while ppl I work with drink 3+ large cups of coffees a day, and say "you know that's unhealthy right"….

    Logic fail.

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